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Nivarion
11-22-2013, 04:17 AM
So I am writing a scene where a character of mine is learning about her adoption. It's been very obvious to her that she is adopted, since her adoptive father is a member of a different species. She is fourteen, and confronting him about the adoption since she has learned that he knew her biological father.

Her father was a serial killer. He'd earn someone's trust, carve their face off move to another town and repeat. Sometimes he'd get married, have a child and carve their faces off too. The adoptive father's sister was killed buy this guy and he spent years chasing. Adoptive father caught birth father on a night when he was busy cutting up this girl's mom, and got his revenge, and adopted this girl.

What sort of reaction could this generate? Could additional stress cause more complications? Are the following likely; Crying and feelings of betrayal? Thousand mile stare? Anger? Despair that she might end up like dad?

My characters are already under a lot of stress, if it's relevant I'll share what they're going through.

Thank you all. :D

cornflake
11-22-2013, 04:23 AM
So I am writing a scene where a character of mine is learning about her adoption. It's been very obvious to her that she is adopted, since her adoptive father is a member of a different species. She is fourteen, and confronting him about the adoption since she has learned that he knew her biological father.

Her father was a serial killer. He'd earn someone's trust, carve their face off move to another town and repeat. Sometimes he'd get married, have a child and carve their faces off too. The adoptive father's sister was killed buy this guy and he spent years chasing. Adoptive father caught birth father on a night when he was busy cutting up this girl's mom, and got his revenge, and adopted this girl.

What sort of reaction could this generate? Could additional stress cause more complications? Are the following likely; Crying and feelings of betrayal? Thousand mile stare? Anger? Despair that she might end up like dad?

My characters are already under a lot of stress, if it's relevant I'll share what they're going through.

Thank you all. :D

I'm super confused and I think more information would help.

What species are we talking about? Are these creatures normally what? I mean if you're asking how a giraffe would feel, I really don't know what to tell you.

Same problem with your world - someone just up and took a baby whatever, so I dunno how common or not this stuff is or that kind of thing. She knows she's adopted, but they've never discussed it or she's never pressed or he refused to answer and what she's upset about is that part or that her father was some kind of killer?

storygirl99
11-22-2013, 05:39 AM
Considering this is an extreme situation and that it is unlikely to happen in real life, I think you have license to go wherever you like with this.

I know an awful lot about adoption in the "real world" and can see no parallels, so let your imagination run wild and make your own reality.

Nivarion
11-22-2013, 08:35 AM
I'm super confused and I think more information would help.

What species are we talking about? Are these creatures normally what? I mean if you're asking how a giraffe would feel, I really don't know what to tell you.

Same problem with your world - someone just up and took a baby whatever, so I dunno how common or not this stuff is or that kind of thing. She knows she's adopted, but they've never discussed it or she's never pressed or he refused to answer and what she's upset about is that part or that her father was some kind of killer?

Oh, uh, she's human. Adoptive father is similar to a Faun/satyr, only they're a lot less elusive. And without horns. He's been an outcast from his own society so she was raised with other humans. (they're supposed to be pacifists, but he didn't buy any of that.)

I've been reading a lot about telling adopted kids about their adoption. Worst case scenario I could find on the interwebs was that the birth parents abandoned the child, and it cautioned to tell them the positives reasons that the abandonment could have happened. But I do not see a positive spin for "Your father cut people's faces off for fun."

Adoption laws are kind of weak in this setting. Based off ancient Jewish adoption laws. Basically if you teach a child a skill and claim publicly that they are yours and no one disagrees, then you're now the proud parents of the child.

cornflake
11-22-2013, 10:00 AM
You might try looking for stories of children who were the result of rape, or adult adoptees who find biological people and discover something or other unsavoury that no one knew.

WeaselFire
11-22-2013, 05:47 PM
What sort of reaction could this generate?
Wrong question and wrong approach. What reaction do you need for your story? Once you know that, write the circumstances that generate that reaction.

Jeff

frimble3
11-23-2013, 01:08 PM
And, the adoptive father has had 14 years of 'you don't look like me, but you're my daughter anyway' acknowledging that she's adopted, 14 years of thinking about her origins, and he couldn't do better than to blurt out the truth? He couldn't have found some way to gloss over the details of the 'bad things your birth father did'?
Why go with the face-cutting, mutiliation details? Why not just "Your daddy killed your mommy' and I'm your father now."?
Does he want to make the girl's life worse?

Nivarion
11-24-2013, 11:33 AM
And, the adoptive father has had 14 years of 'you don't look like me, but you're my daughter anyway' acknowledging that she's adopted, 14 years of thinking about her origins, and he couldn't do better than to blurt out the truth? He couldn't have found some way to gloss over the details of the 'bad things your birth father did'?
Why go with the face-cutting, mutiliation details? Why not just "Your daddy killed your mommy' and I'm your father now."?
Does he want to make the girl's life worse?

There have been years of glossing over the details. She wants to know more about them now. The adoptive father also has a magical mcguffining that stops him from lying, the end result is that he is blunt as a sack of hammers.

Until recently, she knew little beyond "your parents are dead." and he hadn't told her that he knew anything about them, or how he ended up with her.

The stories about people who have met jerkface birth parents have helped me in getting a grasp of what could happen.

She has only two more chapters to live, and either heartbreak and distancing with, or healing and bonding with adoptive father will serve my purposes.

thanks to everyone who has answered so far, I think I've got a better idea of direction for this scene.

CWatts
11-24-2013, 06:21 PM
You may want to research how relatives of real-life infamous criminals have reacted.

For example, I saw an article recently about Lee Harvey Oswald's family. His two daughters were a toddler and a newborn at the time of the assassination and so didn't remember their father, and were adopted by their stepfather.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/jfk50/reflect/20131109-as-paparazzi-stalk-her-kennedy-assassin-s-widow-lives-quiet-dallas-area-life.ece



“I didn’t know my family was any different until I was about 7,” said Rachel. “One day, my mother sat my sister and me down on our big green couch and told us that the man who had raised us as our father — our stepfather, Kenneth — was not, you know, our real father, that our real father’s name was Lee Oswald and that he had, well, that he had been accused of killing the president of the United States. This helped explain why our school bus was sometimes followed by news teams, why our mailbox got shot at, why kids at school would ask, ‘Did your daddy shoot the president?’ At home we rarely discussed Lee. We were just trying to be a normal family.”

Debbie V
11-26-2013, 08:42 PM
I think a lot depends on how attached she is to her dad. Has he been a good parent? Why does she so want to know where she came from? A lot of adopted people don't. What are each of their goals in the scene?

girlyswot
11-30-2013, 10:57 PM
PD James wrote a wonderful book called Innocent Blood about an adopted woman finding out that her birth mother was a murderer. The mother is just about to come out of prison on parole and ends up living with the daughter. It's worth a read, though the situation is not exactly parallel to yours.

Mariana
01-14-2014, 09:56 PM
Hi to everyone!!! A good friend of mine is an adopted child so I think I could help by telling her story.
She was adopted at the age of 2 and she had no memory of it. Her adopted parents with the help of a psychologist tried to tell it to her when she was 5 or 6. The doctor said to them that they could watch with her animated films with stories of abandoned and adopted children and try to mention to her every time how important was for those kids to have a new parent in their lives and how precious this would be for them. After a year they told it to her and she was ok with that. Unfortunatelly, by that time she refuses to know anything about her biological parents (especially about her real mother) and she continues until now that she is 35 not to do anything at all to find them. She thinks that her real mother was a slut and she acts very negative and with real anger in every discussion about searching and finding what really happened to them and they abandoned her to an orphanage. If my friend one day realizes that one of her parents was a serial killer like your story I think that she would react like she was sick with that, completed devastated and she would have preferred not to knowing it at all.

I hope that I helped you in some way! :)

Sketti
01-14-2014, 10:18 PM
Hi to everyone!!! A good friend of mine is an adopted child so I think I could help by telling her story.
She was adopted at the age of 2 and she had no memory of it. Her adopted parents with the help of a psychologist tried to tell it to her when she was 5 or 6. The doctor said to them that they could watch with her animated films with stories of abandoned and adopted children and try to mention to her every time how important was for those kids to have a new parent in their lives and how precious this would be for them. After a year they told it to her and she was ok with that. Unfortunatelly, by that time she refuses to know anything about her biological parents (especially about her real mother) and she continues until now that she is 35 not to do anything at all to find them. She thinks that her real mother was a slut and she acts very negative and with real anger in every discussion about searching and finding what really happened to them and they abandoned her to an orphanage. If my friend one day realizes that one of her parents was a serial killer like your story I think that she would react like she was sick with that, completed devastated and she would have preferred not to knowing it at all.

I hope that I helped you in some way! :)

It's nice of you to share :) That said, I do have a problem with with people referring to biological parents as "real" parents. Clearly the "real" parents are the ones who raise the child, love him/her etc. regardless of DNA, no? IMHO, I think the best way to make the distinction is using biological mom/dad and adoptive mom/dad.

That is all from me, lol. Very interesting thread though. I'm very interested in all topics of adoption for personal reasons.

Wilde_at_heart
01-14-2014, 11:07 PM
Considering this is an extreme situation and that it is unlikely to happen in real life, I think you have license to go wherever you like with this.

I know an awful lot about adoption in the "real world" and can see no parallels, so let your imagination run wild and make your own reality.

Each experience is so divergent that I doubt there's 'one correct way' anyway - OP, have the character react in a way that suits your character the way you've written her.

Some people put a lot of stock in their biological roots, some don't. It might not bother her in the slightest, at least right away. Either that, or she'd be more concerned about the fate of her mother - did she know she'd met with a violent death? - than what the father is like.

cornflake
01-14-2014, 11:07 PM
Hi to everyone!!! A good friend of mine is an adopted child so I think I could help by telling her story.
She was adopted at the age of 2 and she had no memory of it. Her adopted parents with the help of a psychologist tried to tell it to her when she was 5 or 6. The doctor said to them that they could watch with her animated films with stories of abandoned and adopted children and try to mention to her every time how important was for those kids to have a new parent in their lives and how precious this would be for them. After a year they told it to her and she was ok with that. Unfortunatelly, by that time she refuses to know anything about her biological parents (especially about her real mother) and she continues until now that she is 35 not to do anything at all to find them. She thinks that her real mother was a slut and she acts very negative and with real anger in every discussion about searching and finding what really happened to them and they abandoned her to an orphanage. If my friend one day realizes that one of her parents was a serial killer like your story I think that she would react like she was sick with that, completed devastated and she would have preferred not to knowing it at all.

I hope that I helped you in some way! :)

I just... why is it unfortunate that she doesn't have any interest in total strangers?

Her real parents are the people who parented her, her mom and dad, her mother and father. The people she's biologically connected to are just that - strangers she happens to be biologically connected to. Her parents are her parents - if you're her friend, you've probably met them.

Fruitbat
01-14-2014, 11:11 PM
I've also known people who didn't want to meet their birth parent/s because they felt like it would be disloyal to the parents who raised them. And some of the parents did seem to feel threatened by the thought, which I understand in a way.

Or, they might just feel like it's irrelevant who gave birth to them when they already have a family and know where they belong. I'm not adopted but personally, I think I'd at least be curious.

Lavern08
01-15-2014, 12:22 AM
It depends on the child's/person's upbringing...

If the adopted person grew up in a secure, warm, loving home, it's possible they wouldn't be curious about the "birth parents" because there is no need for affirmation or validation.

However, if there was insecurity, neglect, abuse, etc. in that person's childhood, the individual would like to think that they could connect with some biological relative and (finally) find love and acceptance.

(I'm speaking from first-hand experience, btw). ;)



Edited to Add: DANG! If I learned that my parent was a serial killer, I'd really be bummed.

Cath
01-15-2014, 12:28 AM
Necro'd thread, folks.